Planning is an important element of any business venture. It can encompass analysis, development of goals, and strategies. Assessment of various parameters in the plan allows you to utilize the resources at the optimum level. You can judge factors such as the nature of the business, the environment, and the competitors. Planning can facilitate a firm’s rate of growth and performance. It also aids in deciding if it is practicable to go ahead with the business. A lot of time and resources go into creating a business plan. It is imperative to distinguish between the various types of business plans before going forward with the planning phase.
1. The startup plan is the most basic of the plans since it defines the steps required for a newly begun business. It covers the assessment of the company, the management team, the strategies, the products and services it will cater to, and the financial aspects of the company.
2. The feasibility plan includes the analysis of objectives, prices, and probable expenses. It also involves evaluation of the market trends and the keys to success. Through the feasibility plan you decide whether the business is feasible.
3. The strategic plan encompasses the procedures necessary to achieve the long-term goals set by the company. It outlines the main priorities rather than describing specific detailed responsibilities.
4. The operations plan focuses on short term plans, which run usually for a year. It might also be called an annual plan. It specifies certain implementation policies like the responsibilities of a team or deadlines in detail.
5. The investment plan aims at obtaining financing from banks or the venture capitalists. It can be essential at the beginning of the company when the raising of capital is crucial.
6. The growth or expansion plan is centered at specific areas of the business. It might also include planning aimed within the areas to cater to the growth plan. A new investment might need an investment plan and a startup plan for the investors. If the growth plan is meant for the internal expansion, it might not require detailed descriptions, but must include the forecasts about sales and expenses.
7. The summarized business plan caters to the policies of the company at the initial stage. This comprises financial plans such as applying for bank loans or concise plans targeted towards venture capitalists.
8. The full business plan comprises two or more of the plans above. The full business plan focuses on concrete detailed specifications and strategic alliances, which can be of significant help in raising money.
9. The operational business plan focuses on detailed information regarding the production, marketing, sales, and human resources of a firm. It deals with a lengthy venture plan defining the roles of the employees more precisely.
Other Forms of Planning
There are as many forms of planning as there are companies to plan for. However, a clear understanding of some of these types of plans allows you to formulate the requisite plan for your business. No single plan is etched in stone and many of these types of plans overlap.
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes afree weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com